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Millions of Britons are signed up to parkrun, a weekly five-kilometre event for walkers, runners and volunteers. Taking place on Saturdays, parkrun is an ideal way to keep fit, have fun and spend time outdoors. However the pandemic has seen parkrun events suspended – but founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt has today issued an update.
In an email to the more than three million people signed up to parkrun, Mr Sinton-Hewitt urged participants to support the return of the weekly run and to lobby local landowners to permit the restarting of the events.
In his email, the parkrun founder said he hoped all parkruns could resume on Saturday, June 5.
Mr Sinton Hewitt wrote: “I am calling on the entire parkrun community to help support our efforts to return on Saturday, June 5.
“If you can influence and encourage your local landowner to confirm permission quickly, please do so.
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“If you’d like to volunteer, let your local event know.
“If there is anything at all that you think that you can do to help your local team return, please get in touch with them.”
COO of parkrun Tom Williams wrote to “the landowners of all 589 5k events in England” in order to ask permission to “once again hold parkrun events on their land.”
The letter stated: “To allow any 5k parkrun events to reopen in England we need the large majority to do so, in order to prevent those that do from becoming overwhelmed with participants.
“The time is right for 5k parkrun events to reopen.
“Our return in June complies with the Roadmap for England, is welcomed by the Government and public health, and will be delivered within an appropriate and safe environment.”
The letter also reassured landowners the events would be safe for all participants and volunteers.
Referring to our planned return of 5k parkrun events in England from June 5, Professor Dame Sally Davies, former Chief Medical Officer for England, and current Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University, said: “parkrun communities should take confidence from the findings that walking, running, jogging or volunteering at parkrun is likely to be very safe.
“Now, more than ever, we need parkrun to improve our nation’s public health and happiness. Our wellbeing, physical health and mental health depend on us being active and being together, in line with the government’s guidelines and parkrun’s COVID-19 Framework.“
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